Mankato father accused of assault that left baby gravely injured

A Mankato baby suffered significant injuries after she was assaulted by her father last month, according to charges filed Monday.

Kristopher Dale Arlando Henderson, 39, of Mankato, was charged in Blue Earth County District Court with felony 1st-degree assault.

A criminal complaint says the 2-month-old girl suffered brain hemorrhaging, rib fractures, and broken leg bones.

The child was brought to a Mankato hospital on the evening of Sept 23 by her parents, according to the complaint.  She was then transported to Rochester for further treatment.  Doctors told investigators the injuries were consistent with non-accidental trauma, and not caused by a cat, as Henderson had suggested.

In an interview with investigators, the child’s mother said the baby was fine before work that morning.  She told police she fed the baby before she left, then put the child back down to sleep.  The mother worked until 6 p.m., but said she received a text from Henderson at around 5 p.m. saying he had caught their 19 lbs cat laying on the victim.

When the mother returned home, she noticed her daughter’s eyes were “bulged out” according to the complaint.  After consulting with her own mother, the baby’s mother decided to bring the child to the emergency room around 7 p.m., according to court documents.

Investigators interviewed Henderson, who initially denied knowing how the baby received her injuries.  He eventually admitted to investigators that he might have been a “little rough” with the child when he changed her diaper.

Court documents say detectives were advised about six days after the victim was hospitalized that she showed little to no brain activity.

According to the complaint, in another interview about a week later, Henderson admitted that he had cradled the child face down in his arms and struck her back more forcefully than usual.  He estimated the alleged assault went on for five minutes and admitted he had hit the victim hard enough to break her ribs, says the complaint.

As of October 8, the child’s mother and medical staff began end-of-life conversations for the girl, according to the complaint. there has apparently been no significant change in the girl’s condition.

**This story has been corrected for the original version, which reported the child’s age as 2-years-old rather than 2-months-old.

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